Masterfeces Theater Presents

In Which Ikea Ruins Young Lives & Mother's Day In One Fell HOLY SHIT GAAAHHHH

Happy Mother's Day! I got you the gift of HOLY SHITBALLS IKEATASTROPHE:


A few weeks ago, we impulse-bought a wall cabinet at Ikea, brought it home, and promptly procrastinated the hell out of actually assembling it. 

The box sat propped in a corner until yesterday, when Jason decided to finally tackle the project, because he knows how much I love moving Things from One Thing into Another Thing. In this case, sorting and moving all our serving platters and entertaining-type dishes from the sideboard in the dining room into this new, awesome cabinet, AND THEN moving the sideboard into the living room as new-and-improved toy storage, AND THEN moving the bookshelves out and OH MY GOD, POINT IS, SO MUCH DEPENDED ON THIS CABINET. 

I spent a few happy hours sorting dishes and vases and whatnot into keep-donate-maybe piles, then began stacking them neatly into the new cabinet while Jason reorganized some other cabinets. No longer would I need to climb up on a stepstool to get a baking dish from that annoying cabinet over the fridge! No more digging for oversized bowls from the depths of the sideboard! Everything we actually use and need will now live in this great big new cabinet, although the door isn't really opening as easily as it did at the store and you kinda have to pull on it a little harder than I remembered OH DEAR GOD OH SHIT GAAAHHHHHHHH.


I was standing right in front of it when it started to come down, and LUCKILY figured out that my instinct to "CATCH IT! STOP IT!" was not going to help anything, so I backed away helplessly while it fell with several tremendous, graduated crashes, shattering just about everything inside. 


Including all of my grandmother's depression glass. 

(Don't look, Mom! That photo is a lie and everything is fine! Ponies! Rainbows!)

Luckily Ezra and Ike were trapped playing in the baby jail conversation pit when it happened, and Noah was in the kitchen but seated far away. He promptly burst into tears because his whole house was falling apart and is now officially terrified of cabinets, at a volcano-like level. They are now ALL horrific death traps, ready to burst free from their inadequate anchors and kill you. THANKS IKEA. 

After we cleaned up I had to break even more bad news to Ezra: The cabinet had fallen on his beloved play kitchen and broken that, too. Smashed top, cracked doors, broken-off legs, you get the idea. He was understandably devastated and I have nothing funny to say about it except THANKS IKEA. 

We promised him we'd get him a new kitchen as soon as possible, mentally adding THAT nice little expense on top of the cabinet's price and the cost of repairing and repainting the wall and gee, it's a good thing we snapped that cabinet right up once we saw it was $20 off, amirite? $20 off! It's a bargain! Deal of a lifetime! You're not gonna get this kind of nonstop death and destruction at Home Depot, I'll tell you that right now. 




Swedish Miminalism means you can have no souvenirs in the house! Also, no toys, unless it's Swedish-approved carrots with faces!


OMG. I'm so glad you're all ok but OMG! All those things! So smashed!


Oh, Ikea sturm und drang. I know this well. But little Zah's kitchen! Boo! So sad.

Laura in PA

That picture of the broken depression glass is making me a little teary. Also making me feel better about my own Mother's Day mini-disaster--a kitchen sink with water pouring out of the pipe underneath. Sorry about all the broken stuff--but glad none of you were hurt!


Can we start a Get Zah A New Play Kitchen Fund? I would be MORE THAN HAPPY to contribute.

Susan B

I haven't been in Ikea in about 10 years...and now I'm reminded of why. So glad no one was hurt--that is really scary!


The chewed-up screw (undoubtedly called a "Snojklerskrw" or something) next to Grandma's busted Depression glass says it all. So sorry.


I about burst into tears reading your post. Oh, all the work and effort to get a home organizing challenge done...and all your lovely dishes and memories...

Thank goodness no one was injured physically, but poor you and poor sad Ezra and poor scared Noah!


Way to go Ikea. BOO.


No! Not the depression glass! I'm going in the dining room to wrap all mine in blankets and bubble wrap and suspend them in Jell-O. (Can you tell us WHICH cabinet it was? Because NO THANKS DO NOT WANT.)

Mom In Two Cultures

My oldest bursts into tears whenever anything goes somewhat significantly wrong, too. This means that I have to deal with major and minor catastrophes while also trying to settle him down, so he doesn't spin into a full-blown meltdown. (Always so helpful in situations like this.)

One day I clipped the side of the garage with the front bumper, but I could neither curse nor stop to assess the damage because we were on the way to school and I didn't want to freak. him. out. right as I was about to drop him off for the day.

So sorry about all that broken stuff. Glad it fell on you and not someone much smaller.


I'm so sorry. Can I ask what piece (of shit) it was, so I don't buy the same thing?


I guess one of the things ingrained in us from a young age, living in California - land of the earthquake - is to ALWAYS secure any cabinet, dresser, bookshelf, etc, to the walls before filling the shelves. I'm sorry it all came tumbling down, though.


A friend of mine JUST offered me her kids' old play kitchen if you want it! I declined since we already have one for our daughter, but I can claim it for you if you like! they're down in DC like us, but we can sort out getting it to you.


Hmm. I am not going to jump to blame IKEA until we find out whether this is a case of a wall cabinet full of Heavy Things being mounted with only drywall screws.


If its any consolation, I'm guessing that someone at Ikea USA Social Media HQ is suddenly having a bad day...


And this? This is why I save and save until I can buy nice stuff. Sorry, but my philosophy on IKEA is you get what you pay for. Their stuff is junk.


Oh man, a tear kept into my eye when I saw your grandma's depression glass.... So sorry Amy :-(


This put's things in perspective. My mothers day wasn't so bad after all. Glad to hear no one was hurt :-)

Susan in Maryland

I love Ikea to death but some things they sell are hit or miss. Was it at least partially mounted to a stud? Or were the white drywall anchors holding the whole thing up?


And suddenly I don't has quite as much sad about the fact that the closest IKEA is nine hours away. I would be so tempted to buy all the Inglestoorkens in the world.


I read that as an IKE-atastrophe, as in the little one got hurt. So glad you're all okay.

Also, for future reference, I highly recommend earthquake straps. You can buy them on Amazon, & they've saved my climber's life from many a bookcase disaster.


Oh, we're blaming ourselves just as much as Ikea, make no mistake. The cabinet's (VARDE) design is not great, and the recommended mounting instructions are worse, but we're the fools who kept stubbornly plowing ahead with hanging it up even after we realized:

1) The back of the cabinet is not wood. Therefore, you couldn't just drill holes in it wherever your studs were.

2) There were four pre-cut holes with special metal brackets for hanging it, but if these holes didn't magically, miraculously line up with your studs, uhhhh. Too bad.

3) We were only going to hit a stud on ONE SIDE.

The cabinet really wasn't that heavy (being Ikea and all), and the instructions seriously were just like, "use anchors and screws, you'll be fine!" We had anchors that supported up to 200 pounds, so we shrugged our shoulders and figured it would be okay. Obviously, it was not.

And THAT'S why you buy real, honest-to-God cabinets and not random wall units on sale at Ikea. (So says J. Walter Weatherman.) (ALSO LEAVE A NOTE.)

Corey Feldman

I'm so sorry, but happy Mother's Day

Life of a Doctor's Wife

I know they're just things and all the PEOPLE and ANIMAL PEOPLE are okay, but oh Amy! All your grandmother's Depression glass? OH NO! So sorry this happened. :-(


Call you insurance never hurts to check if anything might be covered. We has an accidental "hot object melting carpet" incident when I was a kiddo. Homeowners insurance covered it.


Wow. That totally sucks. The depression glass! Ack! Gah!

This one year on Mother's Day my husband and I spent the day hanging our roof / a ladder doing some crazy emergency gutter / fascia replacement thing because a storm had ripped it down and another was on the way. Oh and also we were right next to power lines.

This other year on Mother's Day my kid came down with The Worst Ear Infection Ever and spent the entire day screaming and we had to take him to urgent care.

Oh and on my first Mother's Day I gave birth.

So yesterday when I just came down with an awful sore throat and lost my voice, I was all like, SCORE! Day in bed.

I think it's my plan from now on to spend Mother's Day hiding under the covers.


Im glad no one was hurt... but the loss of depression glass breaks my heart! :-(

Korinthia Klein

Oh, ack! So sorry!


You know, I saw a really cute little play kitchen on Saturday for a great Ikea. Sorry, never mind.


We buy a lot of stuff at Ikea and we've had a few such disasters -- we had a fully loaded pot rack come down. We ran into the same problem with studs, and made the same assumptions. Their furniture is sized for metric and made to European building codes. Another tip -- never buy one of their bathroom sinks/faucets. I had a hell of a time hooking it up and no plumber will touch it.

My guess is IKEA doesn't provide anchors to dodge insurance responsibly by they get blamed for a lot of disasters like this. The real culprit is those anchors. The numbers they put on the box are pure fantasy.

Despite a few disasters we still haven't given up on shopping at IKEA. We just had them remodel are kitchen and it's awesome.

PS I'm pretty sure the cabinet that came down is the one I've listed as my URL.


This just cemented my firm resolve to never buy anything from IKEA, ever. I have only been to IKEA once, and I admire their cafeteria all to heck and love me some lingonberry soda, but everything is made in China and is cheap as hell. I'd rather search around, save my money and buy stuff that doesn't fall apart. My friend who took me to IKEA was surprised I wasn't buying anything, and when I pointed out the Made in China label on practically everything, she said, "Huh! I thought they made everything here in Sweden."

I will say it's a fun place to wile away an afternoon, especially if you read all the names of things in a funny accent. "I would like a Flurgaven, please!"


The broken Depression glass makes my stomach turn, I'm super sorry.


I am so sorry, especially because in addition to that beautiful glass shattered, I see, out of the corner of the last picture, just a little, sad, shot of a plastic waffle from Ezra's kitchen. Oh, IKEA, those Nordic bastards and their angular, confusing furniture.

We ran into the same problem with studs, and made the same assumptions. Their furniture is sized for metric and made to European building codes.

Ohhh that explains it. I already learned not to buy their picture frames/file carts because they're primarily designed for European sizing. Ugh. Why would you see things in America that are dependent on European codes/building supplies?

I'm sorry Amy. Clearly you guys did your best.


I am so sorry about the family heirlooms, and poor Zah's kitchen. Ikea gives my hubby anxiety attacks, so we don't get to go often. Poor Amalah. :(

Suzy Q



All my furniture is from IKEA. We had to replace all of it at once and and could not afford better, so now we live in a catalogue. Their stuff is not that bad, although I was disappointed with the quality of their newest offers. I am from Europe and am used to brick wall, and I would be too afraid to hang anything on drywall. IKEA in the US is already very americanized (bed sizing). I was surprised that couch and mattress we bought at IKEA was actually labeled 'Made in USA'.

Big Gay Sam

Talk about Mother's Day Disasters. Mother's Day was also the 1st year anniversary of my brother's untimely death.

Loads of fun around here, let me tell you.


We got loads of stuff from Ikea when we were first married about twelve years ago, but when we've shopped more recently I've had a hard time finding stuff I'd want to buy. This cabinet is actually something we'd considered. Pfft. No way. I think I'm over it.

So, so sorry this happened to you guys.


This is the first time you have ever written a post that didn't make me smile in some shape form or fashion. I am just super pissed off for you! In a strange twist,I was going to visit Ikea to buy dressers for my g-sons. Clearly thats not going to happen now.


Note to Jason: depression glass for Mother's Day next year.


So sorry!! Tell Ezra I just saw a nifty project on pinterest where you turn an old TV console into a play kitchen.... look it up, it was super cute!


200lb drywall anchors only hold that in shear and in ideal situations in brand new drywall. Once you start hanging a cabinet from them you're kind of pulling them out from the wall and it's not a shear load anymore.

If you're set on hanging heavy cabinets up on drywall instead of studs look for some toggle bolts at Home Depot instead of plastic drywall anchors. They'll probably hold and they're even easier to install than drywall anchors.

Also, Container Store has these drywall anchors that are designed to hold up the top track for Elfa shelving. I buy extras whenever I'm there because they're so robust.


I'm so sorry about your glass, especially since it was your grandmother's. :( I've never had success even hanging a towel bar!


Guess it's a good thing you didn't spring for those IKEA bunk beds then eh? Oy. I refuse to shop their after all of the IKEA furniture disaster stories I have heard.


I'm glad you didn't get hurt trying to keep it from falling. That would have been horrible. Everything else is replaceable, but still a bummer to clean it all up.


Oh, that sucks... but my boys have the IKEA play kitchen and they LUUUURV it. It could probably stand to be bolted to the wall since they like to climb on top of the microwave hutch.

And MY Mother's Day? My 3 yo decided to take a crap ON THE CARPET in his room during nap time and then smear it around... for the 3rd time in two months.

Yes, DH cleaned it up, or I would have gotten in my car and just started driving...


Oh, poor sweet mini-chef Zah! I want to just hug all y'all, but especially him.


Ugh, my head hurts after reading this. Glad no one was hurt. Damn Ikea.

Heather Ann

We have solved the stud problem by anchoring another piece of wood into the studs and then attaching whatever it is into that wood. With our bookcases and the safety brackets I use screws and washers into the sides of the cabinet and wire ruuning from one to another and around a wall screw with washer so I can go into a stud. (The wire means I don't have to be in a particular spot.) I hate hanging stuff.

I am really sorry about your loss. I have some precious stuff like that too. It would hurt to lose it.


I first read the title of this post as "In Which IKE Ruins Your..." and that's when it occurred to me that you and Jason came verrrry close to naming your 3rd son "Ikea".


Every time I either go to Ikea or buy stuff at Ikea, I regret it. Real life adults don't buy stuff at Ikea...hopefully we' ll all learn that lesson one day!


SHHHHH you're bursting my ikea love bubble!


and I was JUST praising the fabulousness of Ikea (and it's .99 breakfast) the other much for that...


At least it happened long after Baby Ikea morphed into the little human person known as Ike.
Also, I'm not reading this so much as "Ikea! Never again!" as I am "Ikea. Be careful." But that could be because My budget is definitely Ikea sized right now. And we have their bunk beds. So sorry about your heirlooms, though.


That was heartbreaking!

Jen DW

Ditto on the insurance. I had a friend who had one entire side of their (old) kitchen wall cabinets come down all crashy smashy, and the insurance paid for new cabinets and all the stuff inside that broke.

Mrs Q

Egads, that is horrible! But ikeatrastrophe is my new favorite word.


I had the exact same thing happen to me!! Except we had every glass we owned in the cabinet and it chose to come crashing down onto/around me when I was bare legged and in fluffy slippers. If I'd panicked and stepped backwards I would have impaled myself on broken stems of wine glasses. It was terrifying!! And same issue - 4 piddly screws through chipboard at the back. We were renting so once I realised this was how it was mounted I inflicted wrath on the landlord and insisted on supervising the handyman he sent round to fix it (to his horror). Not that he ever apologised, asked if we were okay or if anything was damaged... Irresponsible of ikea to allow people to think that those 4 frikkin 3mm screws would do the job. The cabinet itself survived the fall just fine, so no construction issues there. Ack. Okay rant over. Thank you. Glad you're okay, sorry about your gran's glassware :(

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